Foods Fueling a Fathlete’s Fitness Frenzy

Fat — the word — makes a lot of people uncomfortable. If it’s in your food, it’s delicious. But too much of it on a human body is not cool. It’s stigmatized by many, from celebrities to cyclists, and even in the nutrition field, even though it’s one of the three macronutrients along with protein and carbohydrates, and our bodies need it to survive. (Don’t EVEN get me started on carbs. I’m a carbon and water-based life form; how about you?) But back to fat. (Made you think of back fat there, didn’t I?) So we use euphemisms like overweight, heavy, chunky, plus-sized, big, cuddly, and my favorite because it’s Yiddish: zaftig. I like fathlete (fat + athlete), even though I didn’t coin it. And as Strava told us in my post before last in their MEDIA ALERT: Announcing Strava S.O.F.T., “If you sweat, you’re an athlete.” If I may paraphrase Kermit the Frog, my point is this: It ain’t easy bein’ lean.

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MEDIA ALERT: Introducing Strava S.O.F.T.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (1 April, 2021, San Francisco, CA): The leading fitness tracker for running, cycling and dozens of other sports, Strava, announces the next exciting step in their technology’s evolution. The global coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020 and continues into 2021 showed that exercise enthusiasts would not be deterred from achieving their fitness and sporting goals (to the extent allowed by local health code). More people got outside and got moving than in other any year since the product’s launch in 2009 for both their physical and mental health.

Obviously, the other major force that has reshaped society in the USA and abroad in the last year is the quest for racial justice and police accountability. In keeping with both these movements toward a healthier and more just society, Strava is releasing a parallel version of their software called Strava S.O.F.T. — Slow, Old, Fat, Tired. This change is a major step forward to make the fitness world more inclusive of our many speed-challenged, mature, differently-sized, and fatigued athletes. At Strava (which means strive in Swedish), we pride ourselves on meeting challenges just like our 70 million customers do in the app. Strava S.O.F.T. is the next wave of exercise and a key to the future of sport itself!

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Some Surprising Ways Weight Supports Sports

Normally on or about the 11th of the month, I write about how I’ve bicycled another month every single day in a row. You can read the latest big milestone in 10 Techniques I Used to Bicycle 500 Days in a Row. But this post seemed more interesting. Millions of people struggle with overweight, obesity, fatness, or as I like to call it: being undertall. But being fat ain’t all that. In many, if not most ways, it is not good for you. When it comes to sports, though, there are some notable exceptions. I don’t encourage myself or anyone to be overweight, but if you are, you can probably do more than you realize (which is the central thesis of this blog in one sentence). Let’s dig right in! (Puns happen.)

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Book Review: HEFT ON WHEELS by Mike Magnuson

Courage is a word you could use to describe bicycling, especially the urban kind I do wherein one risks one’s life while several-ton killing machines blow by at high speeds mere inches away. Or bike racing, BMX riding with the ramps and jumps and tricks, or screaming down a mountain on a bike: all take some degree of courage. But writing? It doesn’t take any courage at all to sit down at a laptop and start hammering away, right? Well, that’s easy to say if you haven’t tried to write a book. And when it comes to memoir, laying your soul bare to people you never have, and never will meet, takes a big chunk of gumption.

I should know, because I’ve been writing this blog for over five years, albeit with far less courage since I use a nom de plume / velo. I have also written a book — a memoir. I have yet to find the courage to even show it to others to read. (I’m getting close to sharing with beta readers, once I figure out the details, having finally just found two awesome volunteers.) But in Heft on Wheels: A Field Guide to Doing a 180, his 2005 memoir (I know, I’m very late to the party), author, creative writing professor, magazine article writer, and cyclist Mike Magnuson has courage in spades. (Heft is a follow-up to his previous memoir, Lummox.) As quoted in a speech he gave, I’d even go so far as to say he has “sixteen suitcases full of courage.”

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Fit v. Fat: What’s the Big Skinny on That?

Issue 2 of the 2020 Bicycling magazine has on it’s cover the words “Every BODY Is a Cycling Body.” There’s a picture of a smiling woman who biked 1,000 miles across Alaska. Half of that distance included almost 28,000 feet of elevation — on gravel roads. In “I’m a Fat Cyclist — And I Don’t Need to Fix My Body,” Kailey Kornhauser explains how she is an athlete today in the body she has now — not in the future. She says “cycling culture needs to change, not her.” As something of a fathlete myself, I concur. But can you really be in good shape and be overweight? And does it really matter?

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Bicycling Magazine’s Article: “I’m a Fat Cyclist—And I Don’t Need to “Fix” My Body”

I just saw this September 13, 2019 article in Bicycling magazine by Kailey Kornhauser. Since I routinely refer to myself as a fathlete, I couldn’t pass on sharing and commenting. Subtitled “My weight doesn’t need to change. But the bike world’s attitude toward me does,” I think she nails the point home that overweight people can and do ride bikes and deserve respect. She puts the fat-shamers in the bicycling world on notice that their discriminatory views are harmful, outdated, unacceptable, and actually damaging to the sport. A Dude has dealt with plenty of unspoken and spoken anti-fat discrimination, so it’s high time this issue gets the attention it’s due. Let’s talk about it.

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Un-Fat Is Not All That:  Being Overweight May Have Some Health Benefits

Survey Says:  Fat Could Help You Live Longer

According to an article in the May 25, 2018 Austin American-Statesman a new study finds obese patients are more likely to survive certain conditions and illnesses when hospitalized.  It originally appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and is by by Najja Parker.  It says that while of course being fat is bad for your heart, blood sugar and more, “the extra fat could have some benefits, according to a new report.”

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